By  on October 25, 2007

NEW YORK — Friday is a big day for Pailin Nitibhon.

Nitibhon, a recent graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology here, has been chosen as the winner of Cosmogirl's second annual "Born to Lead" Design Search. As part of her winnings, she will display her first junior sportswear collection at Macy's Herald Square on Friday.

For the contest, Cosmogirl teamed up with FIT to find who they believe will be the next leader in fashion design. The contest was open to fashion and design seniors attending the school.

"Out of 125 graduate students, there are 125 different stories here, 125 different personalities and everyone has their own story to tell through their art," said Sass Brown, assistant professor of fashion design-apparel at FIT. "The 'Born to Lead' Design Search provides students with an extraordinary opportunity and I can't think of anything that would make them work even harder."

Nitibhon was chosen as this year's winner and has won a $10,000 grant from Macy's and a partnership with Necessary Objects by Ady Gluck-Frankel to produce a holiday apparel collection. The collection will be sold in about 20 Macy's East doors with the rest of the Necessary Objects merchandise, but Nitibhon's pieces will be labeled "Pailin Nitibhon for Necessary Objects." Additionally, Nitibhon will be recognized with a feature in Cosmogirl's December "Born to Lead" issue.

To help narrow down the contenders, FIT chose a select group of graduate students to take part in the search, which fell into four categories: sportswear, tailoring, current scene and knitwear. A panel of judges, which included Jacqueline Azria-Palombo, creative director at Cosmogirl; Oscar Blandi, hairstylist; Torkil Gudnason, photographer; Gluck-Frankel, president and creative director of Necessary Objects; Nicole Fischelis, vice president, fashion director for women's at Macy's East, and Russell Orlando, vice president, fashion director for juniors at Macy's East, selected four finalists. The finalists were interviewed by the judges at the Necessary Objects showroom in May. Nitibhon, a native of Short Hills, N.J., won based on what the judges said was her talent and enthusiasm to become a fashion designer. She worked with Gluck-Frankel over the summer to create her collection.

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